Manure Standards project consortium gathered in snowy Helsinki for an intensive project meeting on 6-8 February 2019. The finish line is already in project partners’ sight as the project is coming to its end during the autumn 2019.
For the 2-year-project, many of the activities – such as the concrete instructions for manure sampling and analyses – have been completed. Now it is the time to tie the threads together: “We have an ambitious timetable and a lot to do, but all partners have worked hard and we are well on track to publish new joint tools for manure data collection”, tells project’s coordinator Sari Luostarinen.
780 manure samples from nine countries
During 2018, as part of Work Package 2, the nine Baltic Sea Region countries sampled a total of 780 manure samples from different animal production systems and analysed them for nutrients. Based on this work, instructions for manure sampling and analysis were created to improve manure fertilisation planning. Instructions will be communicated to the key stakeholders, namely farmers and advisors, in the form of an easy-to-read guidebook and also via short instruction videos. See the video by the project’s Latvian partners!
In Work Package 3, calculation tools for calculating the manure quantity and properties are being developed. The tool for farms is by now well tested and it has proved to be useful and suited for the purpose. The next step is to develop another tool for the calculations at national level.
Impact of the new data?
Work Package 4 is focused on assessing the impacts of using the manure data developed during the project. A simple nutrient balance based method (NBBM) has been developed, improved and tested on pilot farms for assessing the impact of using the new manure data on the risk of nutrient leaching on farm level. It also estimates the change in gaseous emissions from manure. Furthermore, the CCB (CANDY carbon balance) model has been used for selected pilot farms to investigate the evolution of carbon stocks and N mineralisation depending on application of different organic fertilisers and their nutrient contents. The economic impacts of the new manure data are to be tested.
Work Package 5 focuses on bringing the key stakeholders – farmers, advisors, authorities, policymakers and researchers – together. To this end, a second round of Manure Standards national events in all Baltic Sea region countries are organised by project partners. Also, the work on a handbook of smart manure and nutrient management targeted to farmers and farm advisors has started.
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